Showing posts from May, 2011

Eldest Boy Discharged from Hospital

Hello folks!

Many of you have been asking for an update on our eldest boy. Thank you for all your prayers and good wishes for him.

The good news is that he has been discharged from Red Cross Hospital. His saturation levels stablised whilst he was there so he has also been able to be off oxygen. He is currently staying, as we had hoped, in ThembaCare Athlone whilst we look into options for his future. ThembaCare is the best possible place for him at the moment as he will be surrounded by familiar faces and definitely smothered with love and attention. It is also only a short drive away from the hospital so is much more convenient in that respect.

We will post more news on this little man as and when we have it, but please continue to keep him in your prayers.

Never easy

Our Breastfeeding support group for Macassar kicked off to great fanfare at the Macassar public library yesterday. It was wonderful and encouraging to see how excited the maternity ward staff were about this group. Nurses, peer counsellors and the nutritionist all contributed to have a huge variety of snacks for the attendees. They even advertised in the local paper! I love that. Attendance was a bit low, but I believe word of mouth will be the best advertising tool in this instance.

One very young couple attended with their 2-month old gorgeous baby girl. Baby girl is drinking a bottle. Why? We asked. Apparently mom was told by a nurse in hospital that her milk is too salty. What a crazy notion! Dad says he spends R800 per month on formula milk. Then the nappies, bottles, teats, all the added expenses of having a baby. This couple is only 20 years old, what a responsibility on such young people. Imagine how much simpler it would’ve been had she persevered, received correct advice and…

May News

Well the sun continues to retain some of its heat and the much needed winter rains are still to come, this is good news for the new house, which needs to full dry out before we can apply the protective outside coat so let’s continue to pray that we can get that done soon. The team from Stuttgart have now left and many of them are back in Germany after a short break where they took in some of the sights of this amazing country, but there is still quite a bit to be done on the house before it can be used for our longer term volunteers, more of that later.

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Volunteering With Village of Hope

Children's Unit
The good news is that we are once again up to our full complement of 9 children. Yes, that’s right, after a couple of months when we have had space we have now been able to provide a home to two little girls! Whilst it is amazing to give these ch…

eldest boy back in red cross

unfortunately our eleven year old boy has been readmitted to the red cross children's hospital following a routine visit last monday. for around a month now he has become increasingly reliant on oxygen and towards the end of last week his saturation levels started to dip even when he was on his machine, therefore the visit was in fact a God send. he has been kept in to monitor his lungs, heart and liver but we have had encouraging news to say that he is now off the oxygen machine and breathing normally.

there is some concern that due to the altitude of the village of hope, grabouw sits along the edge of a wonderful mountain range, and the damp conditions, it rains a lot in the winter and the town has the highest rate of new TB infections in south africa! that if he is discharged he might not be able to come home to us, but we have a couple of plans and thembacare in athlone is a wonderful home and where he was prior to being placed with us.

please continue to pray for him and also t…

May News

This past month we have been blessed by three separate amazing donations:

Firstly, our local hotel, The Devon Valley Hotel, presented us with a cheque which is made up of proceeds from their Giving Room Initiative ( It’s a fantastic initiative where every night that Room 53 of the hotel is occupied, 10% of the revenue is given to us!!! So if you are looking for accommodation in the Stellenbosh area you know where to go!!!! 

On top of that they blessed the children with Easter eggs and in June one of their employees, Marilize Stander, is going to be walking an amazing 796km across the Pyrenees from France to Spain to raise money for us. Thank you Marilize! - If you'd like to sponsor Marilize for her efforts you can do so here. You can also follow her progress on her blog here.

The children really did do very well over Easter as they also received Easter present boxes His People Church in Cape town and Ronel from Kuilsriver provided a big cupboard and …

Thembacare Grabouw: On the Road Again! (May 2011)

Great news this month! We have finally received our newly branded caravan from Appletiser with the new Thembalitsha Logo on it. The caravan is a generous donation from Appletiser who’s offices are based nearby. It is worth over R100,000 and will be used by the HIV Counseling Testing Team as a mobile screening clinic to test for HIV, TB, and other diseases. This new caravan enables us to get out to the farms and more rural communities in the valley and ensure that more people are screened and know their status.

Last month the HCT had more than 400 clients who were tested voluntarily and now, thanks to the caravan, we will be able to test a lot more people! A gold star goes to Staff Nurse le Roux and her team of counsellors who work tirelessly to ensure that the community is served in this area.

We will have an official final handover ceremony to thank Appletiser for their support very soon.

May News

Remember that evening of glamour and glory, when you felt as if you and your partner were the king and queen of the world - the night of your Matric Dance? Perhaps you called it Prom Night or Debutante's Ball? Either way, for most of the learners at the School of Hope a night like this seemed like the proverbial impossible dream, until the 29th April 2011, just after another royal event involving a certain prince and princess!

This is what Matric Student Robin Bailey (20) had to say about his special night: "The Matric Dance was outstanding! Everyone looked so lovely and it was a dream come true. I never thought that I would ever be in Matric, not to mention attending my own Matric Dance. It was out of this world and we had a ball of a time."

Erika Lee (New York) spoke elegantly, sharing the story of teenage runaway Oscar Hammerstein who started out sweeping in a cigar factory at 15 years old and ended up opening his own theatres in the heart of what is now known as Times …

May News

Bosom Buddies is definitely in a growing season. We are positively bursting with ideas and projects that seem to finally be coming together. We are super proud of our sewing project and to have taught such amazing women to sew at our premises. On the 2nd of May we attended the approval market at Southey Vines and we have been approved as a vendor for this coming summer! Southey Vines craft market has a very strict quality control and it is such an honour to know our quality of sewing passes their high standards. So be on the look-out from September every second Saturday for the BB stand at Southey Vines. We’ll be selling our gorgeous quilts, pillows, lovely bags and maybe a surprise or two?

Our Babies Born Sleeping project seems to also be coming together. The wonderful Zoë, who is here all the way from the UK to volunteer for Thembalitsha, has come very far in establishing a support base for mothers who experience miscarriage at Helderberg Hospital. Together with Carolyn, they have se…

bruno gone but never forgotten!

yes that's right our wonderful little jack russell, bruno, has gone missing. a week last saturday he went out on a 'run' with one of our volunteers, and never returned. we think that he followed a bike race which was taking place in the mountains around the village of hope and ended up at the elgin country club, where he was seen on saturday afternoon.
what happened next we don't know, did someone take him home, did he get lost on his way back or did he get into trouble with a snake or a snare?...we have put a 'wanted' article in our local paper but we haven't heard anything since that came out last friday.
whatever it seems like we have seen the last of him, which is a real shame cause he was a real character around the place, the children in the unit loved him and he was the first dog that i had ever owned...and i miss him :-(

birthdays and a new child

once again we are back up to a full compliment of 9 children here at the village of hope, it's wonderful to offer a child in desperate need a home but there is always a sense of the depth of the problem that created the need for that child to be placed with us. this new 18 month old girl comes from the iraq squatter camp area of grabouw and the family are struggling to keep her on the anti rectro viral treatment that will suppress the HIV that is attacking her immune system.

we have already been to visit the mom and dad at their home and we are expecting them to make their first visit to see their child this morning. we hope that the time that this little girl spends with us will enable us to not only stabilise her condition but also help her family understand her complex needs.

yesterday afternoon we were able to throw a party for a new little two year old girl, who not only celebrated with her new friends but her mother bought up a cake which is fantastic news and shows the commit…

watermarks...identifying the maker

on saturday morning we were fortunate to visit the barnard gallery in newlands, cape town, to view the exhibition by duncan stewart called watermarks. we only met duncan a few weeks ago, as our good friend set us up to stay over with duncan and has wife natalie in their home in port elizabeth as we traveled to the transkie (see ealier post).

we were so blessed to meet this amazing man, who has a living faith in christ and who challenges people through his art to think beyond ourselves. it was great to hear duncan speak, not only about the art, but what inspired him. his work has such depth and can be viewed on many different levels, watermarks is subtitled 'identifying the maker' and duncan explores the use of water within this work and asks the question of what watermark would we have if we were held up to the light, would we have the makers watermark?

if you are in cape town, or even south africa, then please take time to visit the gallery on main street in newlands and be ins…

11th birthday....for our eldest boy..!

today our wonderful eldest boy here at the village of hope celebrated his 11th birthday, maz and the team organised a party for him, with loads of sticky cake and sweet things, however his favorite food has always been inyama, or in english 'meat'....therefore there was plenty of biltong and pepperoni pizza for him to feast on.

the day wasn't all joy and presents as he had to make his scheduled visit to the red cross children's hopsital for his check ups. maz, mel and one of our house moms left at around 5.30 this morning, yes it does need three of them, one to push the trolley with his oxygen in, the other to push his wheelchair and the other to carry the wads of documents that he has accumulated over his little life.

i hope the photos will show a very happy boy, with the rest of the amazing children that we provide a home to here at the village of hope, enjoying his party. sorry no full face photos or names due to their protection on the internet!

this little piggy went to market....

well we didn't have to take the piggy to market just to the man with the gun....yes that's right our male piggy is off to make us some much needed bacon, ham and sausage tomorrow morning, after his 5 months of piggy bliss at the village of hope.

we have really enjoyed having him around and we think arron's experiment with the pigs has gone very well. i suppose the proof will be in the pudding (nice black pudding to go with the sausages!) but we have already decided to keep his 'wife' as the next plan is to get her another husband who we hope will provide us with a constant source of piglets for us to grow on.

it was quite a sad moment as i took the photo, she is making the most of the piggy cuddles, as you can see!

sister projects

for those of you who have visited us in grabouw you will know that the village of hope isn't the only thembalitsha project in the town, in fact our 7 bed inpatient unit called thembacare was established in 2006 and it was during the visits that we made to that amazing project in 2006 and 2007 that inspired me and maz to not only move to south africa, but also to the town of grabouw and set up the project village of that was a long sentence!

each wednesday i run a small 'church service' at thembacare where the staff and patients join to praise God for the work he is doing through this team, i would encourage you to visit their blog, which is usually updated monthly with their newsletter,  and i think this months news is well worth a read as it includes the work that the wonderful outpatient palliative care-workers do as they support over 450 people, infected by HIV and TB in our town.

follow the link here to the thembacare grabouw site (you will notice the similar…

Such fun at our Royal wedding high tea!

On Friday the 29th of April BB held a high tea at the gorgeous Life church. It was a fun-filled morning filled with glamour and tradition. The 60 ladies and 17 children watched the Royal wedding splendour on the big Life church screens. Many thanks to our hostesses Helen, Annette, Amanda, Karlien, Jo and Alice.

Alice won the prize for most stunning table, a night for two at the breathtaking Manor on the Bay, while all the kids received vouchers for Waterworld. Thanks to our great sponsors, the above plus Ster Kinekor, Musica and Reggies, as well as Appletiser for the 80 drinks.

Buy a BB bag for mother's day

Why waste money on a silly mother's day card or wilted flowers? To celebrate mother's day, buy a Bosom Buddies bag for R150 and we'll deliver it to a special mom and babe for you. As a keepsake, you'll get a smiley pic of a very happy mother and her newborn. Bank details on request.

sunday at the dam

the village of hope is a full time project, the children we care for live with us in our children's unit and are looked after by a dedicated team of local 'house mom's' who work a 12 hour shift rota. other members of the team (including our volunteers) start each day at 8.15 at our morning planning and prayer time and finish their day by around 5pm, sounds simple hey! but as with anything that involves kids, especially those living with HIV, and a project involved in social issues there really isn't a 'clocking off time'...therefore we need ensure that we have 'cover' both overnight and during the weekends...

each of our volunteers take turns doing 'weekend cover' and we are keen for the children to understand that sunday is special and that God loves them, therefore the people on weekend cover either take the children, and house moms, to a local church, or spend sometime singing, reading bible stories or creating an activity around that stor…